Showing you Oregon,one post at a time. Did you know that I post the links of many of my stories and articles on the sidebar? When you have extra time, please scroll down to see more. At the bottom of this page there are links to many other blogs that I enjoy.

Hello, friends, thank you so much for stopping by. I really hope that you will enjoy your visit to Oregon Gifts. Due to spam, I am not accepting comments from anonymous people. Please email me at: if you are unable to leave a comment on here. I write back through email when I can.

My words and photographs are copyrighted, and may not be used without permission, even on Pinterest.

~ Kathy M.

Friday, April 30, 2010

California Cousins Come for a Visit:

Wright On!  Tommy, Cary, Debbie and Billy

Cary's cousins arrived on Wednesday evening and left this morning, heading back to Stockton, Bakersfield and Fillmore.  It was so fun to have them visit, and they lifted Grandma's spirits very much. 

On June 19th we are having a family reunion for Grandma's 99th birthday at our house, and are expecting around 80 people!  Wow.  We are looking forward to it!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

From Trash to Treasure:

I may have mentioned this before, but I have a thing for good containers.  And a half-way built in thing for recycling.  I feel a little guilty that my recycling gene is not whole-way as it was when I was living in Eugene ... a city that makes recycling easy.  Still, when it comes to good jars, bottles, coffee cans and things like that, I do save and reuse them.

Take these apple juice bottles, for example.  Did you know that it takes 10 pounds of rice to fill up three of them?  I don't have a picture of the ones filled with salt, but it takes 2 apple juice bottles to hold 10 pounds of salt.  I like using these plastic bottles, because they are space efficient in the cupboard, and mice cannot chew through them.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
Good job, Kathy Matthews.

Then, take these good wine bottles.  I am going to fill them with homemade syrup and homemade kahlua (coffee liqueur).  I decided this week to decorate them with using acrylic paint and stencils.  I assembled my clean jars, labels removed, as well as the stickiness that held the label.  Some dishwashers just take the labels right off.  Not my new one though, it gets too hot and bakes them on.  So, I soak them in hot soapy water and use a table knife to scrape off the labels.  If you still have some stickiness, you can use Goo-Be-Gone to get the rest of it off.  Anyway, I got everything lined up:

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
I was making this up as I went 
along, and just used what I had on hand.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
I mixed up white and red to make pink.  I used sticky tack to hold the stencil on to the bottle.  The stencil is plastic, so it was easy to use between applications.  I ended up going with a narrower paintbrush though.  I found that the thicker the paint, the better.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
I started with the back of the bottle (there are dots or numbers there) and used the sticky tack to anchor down the stencil.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
As I was painting, I put a paper towel around the neck to hold 
on to the bottle so that I wouldn't get any fingerprints on it.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
Make sure the paint has a chance to set before removing the stencil.  You can let the bottle air dry if you are not in a hurry.  Or, you can use the hair dryer, moving the bottle back and forth, so it doesn't get too hot.  It doesn't have to be completely dry, and the stencil is easier to clean if it is not.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
Wash and dry the stencil in between uses.  That way you will not get paint where you do not want it on the next bottle.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
Here are some of the stenciled bottles, and the labels that I worked on yesterday.  I don't think I will attach them though, I will instead tie them around the neck with raffia.  I am going to try and seal the pink paint with clear spray so that it will not come off easily.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

Mom brought me the canning jars that Gwen gave me.  I washed them in the dishwasher, and they are airing dry before I put the lids on them.  I will use them for canning, for my cookie mixes and for soup mixes.  

Like I said, I am a sucker for good containers.  The gumption part is putting something in them.  I looked up some good syrup recipes on the internet.  My new favorite resource website for such things is Frugal Living: Hillbilly Housewife  I found a great apple juice syrup recipe and another one that looks super yummy.  

I will do a follow-up post on this to show you the finished project. Oh, see all my cookbooks lined up behind all of those bottles and jars?  My Bread Alone book that I won from Becky is sitting right on top!


At Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, if you miss a day, you miss a lot!  All material on this post is copyrighted and not for use without my permission ...Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Opening Day of Fishing Season at Wikiup Lake:

My niece, Brooke, took these pictures of the kids at their annual family camping trip at Wikiup Lake, in the high lakes of Central Oregon.  They were just too cute not to post!  Thanks, Brooke, for sharing your FB pictures.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Need help with those underwear?"

A too funny video of my sister and her dog:

Catch more JulieJulie action on her blog at:
Chubby Mommy Running Club

Matthews' Jocks:

Grandson Cameron

Granddaughter Halie

Grandson Tyler


Nephew C.J.


C.J and Courtney

(Thank you to Jen and Savanna for their FB photos!)

A good re-run story from last year:

A Trip Down Memory Lane to Home, Sweet Home:

Last Sunday, on our way home from Corvallis, we drove through Sweet Home. 

I lived in Sweet Home when I was 4 and 5. I went to kindergarten there, at Oak Heights school. We lived in a house that was converted into a duplex, and my little friend next door was named Terri. My friend Monty lived with his parents and 4 brothers in the house next to us. I was living in Sweet Home when President Kennedy was shot. I remember that day very well, because when I got home from school, my Mom was watching the black and white t.v. and she was crying. It may have been the first time that I saw her cry ... she's very good about holding it all in. I felt a sense of doom, and, of course there was good reason for that. 

My dad was the manager at the grocery store. My mom was a R.N. at the hospital in Lebanon. We weren't that far away from Harrisburg and Junction City, so Uncle Red, Aunt Vete, Shelly and Terry ... as well as Grandma and Grandpa Johnson and Grandma and Grandpa T. came to visit often. I had a world globe, that I was very proud of. One time Uncle Red brought his wild brother Tom with him, and Tom broke my globe. I felt pretty bad about that one. 

I learned to ride my bike at this house. I ran through the sprinkler in the summer with my brother wearing only my underpants. The older kids (probably 2nd or 3rd graders) made fun of me, and made me feel bad and ashamed because I didn't have a top on. Never again did I go outside without my top! 

The neighbor's dog, Sadie, died when somebody threw poisoned meat over the fence and she ate it. 

I lived in that house during the big flood. My dad's store was flooded, but we lived up high enough not to have our little house effected. There were old, unused railroad tracks behind the house that we used to explore. 

I went to a sleepover at Monty's in the backyard when they had their tent up. I got up very early and went home because I was a little spooked. When the boys woke up they came over and made sure I was okay. They were nice boys. 

Monty showed up later at my high school and we really never connected again. I was nice to him, but I didn't hang out with him; and I didn't tell that many people that he was my best friend when I was 5.  I feel bad about that now, but we are now FB  friends.

Here is a picture of my dad with a reverse mohawk, my little brother, my baby sister Angie and me, sitting on our porch:

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

This is what the house looked like on Sunday. It doesn't really look that different, does it? Too bad all those cars are blocking the view. I hopped out of the car with my camera and a lady flung open the front door. I said, "I hope you don't mind, but I lived here when I was 5." Cary said, "Is this a duplex?" He still wasn't sure it was the right house. She nodded her head. I said, "Does it have an upstairs?" She nodded again. I guess she thought we were legit, because she just turned around and closed the door:

This is what my old school looks like now:

My Best Friend Husband is 11 years older than me. He was a senior in high school when I was in kindergarten. We have a standing joke that he walked by my classroom one day, looked in the window, pointed to me and said: "I'm going to marry that little girl someday!" This would have been the school where he found me and claimed dibs. It's funny how 11 years makes such a difference when you are young but not when you are old. 

I loved going to school. I remember walking up the long hill from school to home, by myself. Guess what? It is barely a slope, and certainly not a hill. Also, it is only about a half block away from my old house. On Halloween, we were dressing up at school. I wore my costume to school, because that is what we understood we were supposed to do. But, no. We were supposed to bring our costumes to school and put them on for the party. Once again, I was embarrassed. Oh well. 

I graduated from kindergarten at Oak Heights School, and when I find those pictures I'll post them someday.

This is my doll Sherry. I got Sherry for my birthday when I was 5. I loved Sherry very much. So did my little brother. He was really a pretty easy going guy at the age of 2 1/2, but he would fight me for that doll. I had to hide her under my shirt just to avoid conflict. My mom and dad decided to buy him his own doll. It was a jester stuffed doll, and Mitch named him Pinocchio. He loved Pinocchio so much that he eventually loved him to death. After a couple of years, Mom and Dad had to get another, similar jester doll that was subsequently named Pinocchio. I think he still has that one. We are kind of a sentimental bunch in our family. 

On our drive back home, I was telling my Cary all about my time living in Sweet Home and the above memories. I started feeling really bad about Sherry. I built her a new body about 25 years ago, but currently she was just shoved in the toy box in the spare room. Yesterday, when I was at Bi-Mart, I found a cute doll with extra clothes and accessories on sale. I bought it, came home, dressed Sherry and put her in the cute little doll bed pictured above. I held her and kissed her, and felt really bad that she has been hanging out naked with her arm falling off in a dark toy box. Now she is all spiffed up, as you can see. I showed her to Cary and he said, "Do you still have her original clothes?" I said, "Heck no! She doesn't even have her original body!" Then he said, "What are you doing, holding and kissing that doll?" I said, "Trying to make up for 45 years of neglect."

Welcome back, Sherry. Now I just need to go retrieve Tippy from the (clean) garbage can in the storage unit that holds all of the old stuffed animals.
The End.

~ Kathy M., November 2009

At Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, if you miss a day, you miss a lot!  All material on this post is copyrighted and not for use without my permission ...Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.
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Pish 4 Commish!

Way to go, Joe! 

Well, here is another high school friend of mine who is doing fantastic things for the community.  I went to Churchill High School in Eugene with Joe Pishioneri, and he has always been a great guy.  Come to find out, Joe's stepmother and my Mom are good friends who go to Guatemala each year on medical mission trips.  Joe is now one of my Facebook friends, and is currently a Springfield City Councilor, Ward 6, who is running for Lane County Commissioner, District 2, Springfield.   Joe is Nonpartisan with moderate views, and his priorities are job growth, economic recovery and public safety. 

If you live in Joe's district, I hope that you will vote for him, and help show your support by putting signs in your yard and/or helping his campaign in other ways.  Contact information is provided at the bottom of this post.

"Joe gets things done!"

Joe Pishioneri, 
Springfield City Councilor and 
Candidate for Lane County Commissioner

About Joe in his own words...
 "I need your support now as I seek office of Lane County Commissioner for the Springfield District.  I am not seeking this office as a stepping-stone to higher office.  I am not seeking this office as a professional politician.  I am not seeking this office as a part of my partisan political agenda.

I am seeking this office in order to serve the people of Lane County in challenging times - which is why I am asking you to help me solve some of our biggest problems during these challenging times.  Job growth, economic recovery and public safety are my priorities.  The problems are easy to see, and my solutions are sensible and practical.

Lane County government needs leadership with experience,vision and the commitment necessary to prioritize government services and stabilize the most critical programs.  We need leaders with a strong background in public sector management and current, respectful working relationships with all the various agencies, entities, elected officials, labor organizations and businesses.  My record shows that I have what it takes to do the job.  

Some of my opponents have greater name recognition than I do and have been covered by the media more than I have.  These challenges will not stop me.  I run in this election to serve."

Joe serves his community in some of the following ways:
  • Springfield City Councilor Ward 6
  • Springfield Finance and Judiciary Committe
  • Chair, Springfield Economic Development Agency (Glenwood)
  • Chair, Springfield Economic Development Agency (Downtown)
  • Joe serves on the boards of LCOG, The McKenzie Watershed Council, The Excutive Board of TravelLane County (CVALCO) and is a member of the Springfield Jail Operations Planning Group
  • Lane County Public Safety PAC

Joe with his wife Mary and their two children.

Personal Interests:

Joe is a Christian and enjoys spending time with his wife Mary and their two children, including fishing, camping, family BBQ's, travel, golf, hunting and really good coffee with cream and sugar.  His favorite music includes classic rock, John Mayer, The Eagles, Toby Keith, Matchbox Twenty, Jack Johnson and Jimmy Buffett.  (Now that cinches the deal for me, anybody who loves Jimmy Buffett has my vote!)

How can you help Joe?

Your support, now and during the campaign, and later as Joe works for you as your commissioner, will only strengthen Joe's ability to do his job.  Consider making a contribution to his campaign, putting up a yard sign, walking door-to-door, holding a neighborhood coffee, volunteer a couple of hours sometime during the campaign, and use Joe's name for endorsement purposes.  Your support is greatly appreciated and respected.

(Click on this map to enlarge.)

You can vote for Joe if you live in District 2 in the map above.  District 2 includes everything inside the city limits of Springfield, plus the area of Eugene that is between Coburg Road and I-5, with the north boarder being Chad Drive and the southern boarder being I-105.  You can help support Joe no matter where you live!

You can contact Joe at:

"Pish 4 Commish" Facebook page:!/pages/Pish-4-Commish/104207856284626?ref=ts

Friends of Joe Pishioneri
1863 Pioneer Parkway East #614
Springfield OR 97477-3907

(541) 543-2564


Thursday, April 22, 2010

He's Got the Whole World in His Hands:

First, today is Earth Day.  They invented Earth Day 40 years ago. I think it is about taking care of the earth.  Cleaning up litter, recycling, planting new trees, etc.   

Second, today is my nephew Ethan's birthday.  They made him 20 years and 9 months ago.  He's my little sweetie, 2 months younger than my Nigel.   

Third, all those red dots on this world map below are you guys!  From 35 countries so far.  Wow.  Thanks for reading my blog.  I sure would love to hear from you.  Just for today, if you would like to leave a comment and tell us your first name and your location, that would be too cool.  To leave a comment, you can sign on as anonymous if you want to.

(Click on the map to enlarge.)

Have a great Earth Day!  And remember, He still has the whole world in his hands.

Link to Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers singing
"He's Got the Whole World in His Hands"

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy:
Current Country Totals
From 1 Mar 2010 to 21 Apr 2010

United States (US)601
Canada (CA)16
United Kingdom (GB)8
Czech Republic (CZ)3
Switzerland (CH)3
Russian Federation (RU)3
Guam (GU)3
Lithuania (LT)2
Indonesia (ID)2
Thailand (TH)2
Finland (FI)1
Austria (AT)1
France (FR)1
Norway (NO)1
Germany (DE)1
Ireland (IE)1
Romania (RO)1
Poland (PL)1
Netherlands (NL)1
Latvia (LV)1
Italy (IT)1
Djibouti (DJ)1
Philippines (PH)1
Vietnam (VN)1
Nigeria (NG)1
Australia (AU)1
Singapore (SG)1
Saudi Arabia (SA)1
Taiwan (TW)1
Turkey (TR)1
New Zealand (NZ)1
Greece (GR)1
Korea, Republic of (KR)1
Iran, Islamic Republic of (IR)1
Bulgaria (BG)1

No Copying!


Links to My Oregon Blog Posts (Except for Central Oregon):

"Oregon Bloggers"

"Sepia Saturday, Postcard and Stamp Blogs"

"Writing and Poetry Blogs":